Communications & Media Consumer Protection Antitrust & Trade Regulation

Read need-to-know updates, commentary, and analysis on Communications & Media issues written by leading professionals.
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FCC Chairman Proposes New TCPA Rules

The FCC is ready to rule on long-standing petitions seeking clarifications of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act and related FCC regulations. On May 27, 2015, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler circulated a proposed regulatory...more

Tailoring the Suit: Plaintiffs File Amended Complaint in Nordstrom Rack Price-Tag False Advertising Lawsuit

Nordstrom Rack has recently found itself at the center of an unwelcome suit over its labeling practices. Nordstrom Rack discloses the savings it offers customers by placing “compare at” labels on its price tags which show two...more

"European Commission Launches Antitrust Sector Inquiry Into E-Commerce"

On May 6, 2015, the European Commission (Commission) launched an antitrust sector inquiry into the e-commerce sector. This sector inquiry is part of the Commission’s broader Digital Single Market Strategy, which aims inter...more

Keeping Your Privacy Promises: Retail Tracking and Opt-Out Choices

As children, many of us were taught how important it is to “keep your word.” Similarly, it is black letter privacy law that if a company commits (for instance, in a privacy policy or in website statements) to certain actions...more

The FTC Weighs in on In-Store Tracking. Or Does It?

In law school, everybody learns the adage that hard cases make bad law. When it comes to the Federal Trade Commission, a better aphorism might be, “easy cases make new law.” The FTC’s recent settlement with Nomi Technologies...more

FTC Approves Final Order with AmeriFreight: Websites Must Disclose Endorsements

Earlier this year, AmeriFreight, a Georgia-based auto shipment broker, settled with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over charges that the company posted customer reviews on its website while failing to disclose that it had...more

Wet Wipes Manufacturer Must Back Up Its Flushing Claims (And Not Consumers’ Plumbing)

On May 18, 2015, the FTC announced a settlement with Nice-Pak Products, Inc., concerning claims that its moist wipes are “flushable,” “break apart after being flushed,” and are “safe” for sewer and septic systems. Nice-Pak...more

Nomi FTC Settlement Highlights Risks of Publicizing Company Privacy Policies

A closely divided Federal Trade Commission (“FTC” or the “Commission”) has signaled support for the agency’s recent focus on mobile device privacy. On April 23, 2015, the five-member Commission voted 3-2 to accept a proposed...more

There’s No Such Thing As a Free Sample

Social media allows users to effortlessly communicate globally with nothing more than a few keystrokes. Advertisers have harnessed the power of social media bloggers and incorporated it as a key component of their...more

Self-Regulatory Ad Programs Get Updated with Enforcement of Mobile Guidance to Begin Sept. 1

The digital advertising industry’s decision to start enforcing its self-regulatory principles will mean that mobile platform advertisers and other entities will face additional consumer notification, data use, and data...more

Dealer Advertising: No More Excuses

There are no more excuses. Dealers have seen all the ongoing and very recent announcements from the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) imposing millions of dollars in fines, cease and desist orders, and promises by dealers not...more

FTC Commissioner Says That The FTC’s Data Privacy And Security Enforcement Authority Applies To The “Internet of Things”

In a keynote address at the European Data Protection Days conference on May 4, 2015, Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) Commissioner Julie Brill said that the FTC has enforcement authority under Section 5 of the FTC Act...more

FTC Ramps Up Scrutiny of Retail Location Analytics

To improve customer experience and understand customers’ movements and interactions on their premises, retailers, hotels and other brick-and-mortar businesses increasingly use signals from mobile devices to observe their...more

“Ring my friend, I said you call Doctor Robert, day or night he'll be there”*

The first lawsuit, in what may be a wave of antitrust litigation challenging professional board regulations in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in North Carolina State Board of Dental Examiners v. Federal Trade...more

Beware – Price Fixing by Algorithms

So, you’ve designed a great looking poster. Posters are sold all over Twitter and other social media sites, and now you’ve been lucky enough to land a space in Amazon Marketplace. You’re not the only one selling posters, of...more

Apple’s Streaming Music Service Under Investigation

It has been a busy several months for antitrust regulators and the tech giants whose alleged conduct has recently drawn their ire. Just a few weeks ago, Google formally became the subject of a European investigation into its...more

Consumer Privacy and Broadband: The Debate Begins

Privacy and data security are high priorities of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) under the leadership of Chairman Tom Wheeler. In addition to significant enforcement actions against AT&T and TerraCom/YourTel that...more

Advertising Law - May 2015

Amazon Sues Over Fake Reviews - In a new lawsuit, Amazon targeted one individual and four companies that allegedly wrote and posted fake reviews on the e-commerce giant’s site. Amazon’s Conditions of Use expressly...more

Retail Tracking Firm Slammed with FTC Consent Order

The Federal Trade Commission last month announced a proposed consent order settling claims against Nomi Technologies, a third-party mobile tracking service that collects data about consumers' in-store shopping behavior. The...more

Online Advertising: When In Doubt, DISCLOSE

The FTC has approved the final order in its February complaint against AmeriFreight for failing to disclose that it compensated consumers for their online reviews. Coordinated and paid advertising campaigns that do not...more

FTC Continues its Push to Regulate the Collection and Use of Location Information

Recently, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced that it had settled charges with Nomi Technologies, Inc. regarding its collection and use of information that could be used to track the movements of individuals through...more

FTC Announces Settlement with Retail Tracking Company

The Federal Trade Commission recently announced a proposed settlement with a retail tracking company to resolve charges that the company’s privacy policy misled consumers about their ability to opt out of the company’s...more

E-Retailers Beware: DOJ Files First Criminal Prosecution for Online Price Fixing

The Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice recently announced its first criminal antitrust prosecution in e-commerce. David Topkins was charged on April 6, 2015, with price fixing in violation of Section 1 of...more

FTC Releases 2014 Annual Highlights Report

On April 15, the FTC released its 2014 Annual Highlights Report (Report), summarizing the FTC’s work during the prior year to protect consumers and promote competition in industries such as mobile technology, healthcare, and...more

Federal Regulators Expand Authority Over Data Security Issues: Recent Actions by FCC and FTC Underscore the Importance of...

Highly regulated industries such as banking and healthcare have been at the forefront with robust data security regulations for a number of years. Regulators are now focusing on other industries as data breach incidents...more

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